Being the history lover I am, I was totally fascinated with the Hessian town of Niedenstein. Here I was expecting the usual run-of-the-mill town, only to be utterly surprised by the layer cake of history here in this climatic spa town, located just 15 km southwest of Kassel.
I’d have to say the best places to learn about the millennia of history is at any one of Niederstein’s museums. Yes, there is more than one. In the village of Kirchberg, there’s a Heritage Museum (open the 1st Sunday of April, July, and October) that’s a good start. You better just plan your itinerary ahead of time, because the Altenburg und Stadtmuseum is also open the first Sunday of the month.
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The Altenburg, by the way, is a settlement that dates back to the second millennium B.C. — so just think about how the artifacts found here pre-date Christianity. Many of them, believe it or not, are housed in the State Museum over in nearby Kassel. A good place for them, yes?
From here you can continue on the Eco-Path Altenburg-Falkenstein to the Burgruine Falkenstein. At this point this old medieval castle has been in ruins longer than the castle stood, built in 1346 it was totally destroyed by the end of the 1670s. Still, a castle is a castle is a castle.
Even with all these great buildings around, none of them are Niedenstein’s landmark. That honor is reserved for the Hessenturm, a tower overlooking the Habichtswald. Open from Easter to October, they serve coffee and cake on Sundays — so that’s the best time to go, between you and me.
I might be a lover of history, but cake and coffee are two of my favorite things. ;-)
Another good thing is camping. If you also like roughing it outdoors there’s not too many places better than right here; and with some 70 km of hiking trails, you won’t be without anything to do.
The other things to keep you busy here in Niedenstein are its festivals and other cultural events. Germany’s Christmas Markets are world famous, and it’s also because of the ones found in Niedenstein. Of course you’re always welcome to come during its Kirmes (in August), or its May Day Celebrations, or the Dorffest (Village Festival) held in June.
One thing’s for sure, there’s nothing ordinary or run-of-the-mill about Niedenstein. Don’t you agree?